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H-1B Visa Filing Season Is Just Around the Corner

It is almost that time again. On April 1, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume the acceptance of H-1B visa filings for foreign skilled workers. Employers must keep in mind that the April 1 date is for the fiscal year 2017, which starts on October 1.

Immigration experts are anticipating a busy year for H-1B filings, which means that a lottery can be expected as the cap will certainly be reached. The 65,000 visa cap mostly affects first-time applicants. Those who obtained master’s or graduate-level degrees in the U.S. are placed in a different category that extends their cap by an additional 20,000 visas.

It is important to note that the following applicants are not subject to the H-1B visa cap:

* Those who have already obtained one of these visas in the last six years.

* Those who are being sponsored by universities or non-profit organizations.

* Non-immigrant physicians who are switching their visas from J-1 to H-1B.

Another aspect of the H-1B visa that is important for employers to remember is that this is not the only employment visa available to foreign workers. Canadian and Mexican professionals can apply for the TN visa, which is available under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Foreign companies that have operations in the U.S. can transfer employees with an L-1 visa, even if the company is just starting to establish operations here. Also the O-1 visa is always available to applicants whose skills and experience place them at the very top of their fields.

The “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” visa is an alternative that is rarely explored by sponsoring employees. This is a sort of hybrid visa that can be utilized to surmount the difficulties presented by the H-1B visa cap. In this case, the employer must have a foreign presence that can provide the applicant with an adequate and competitive salary, and the duties performed by the foreigners in the U.S. will be limited to scientific and professional research, contract negotiations, mercantile transactions, and litigation.

Not all visas that entail hiring of foreign workers require employer sponsorship. However, seeking the assistance of legal professionals to help with this process is highly recommended. For the help you need, reach out to San Diego immigration attorneys Kazmi and Sakata in San Diego at (858) 874-0711. We offer free consultations. Call today.

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